The All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) has written to the manifesto committees of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the principal opposition party, the Indian National Congress, suggesting inclusion legalisation and regulation of online gaming and sports betting as one of the promises in their party manifestos, that will be released for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections starting next month.
AIGF in its suggestion has noted that the online gaming industry can generate substantial revenues to the exchequer, create jobs, ensure responsible gaming and also curb and eliminate illegal activities like match fixing and money laundering if brought under formal regulation and taxed rationally.
The gaming body also added in its submission to the national political parties that the Law Commission of India in its 276th report had also recommended that regulation of betting and gambling remains the only viable option before the government if a complete ban on the activities cannot be achieved.
Noting that AIGF approached the two major national political parties since both the organisations had invited suggestions from the public on issues that can be included in their party manifestos, Roland Landers, CEO of AIGF stated, “It is commendable that the two main political parties have looked at inclusiveness and suggestions from people across the country in their manifestos. We wanted to highlight this critical issue of regulation in the online gaming industry, that has long been ignored but is the need of the hour and hence have sent our suggestions to the respective committees highlighting the benefits that will accrue to all stakeholders.”
In December last year, senior Congress leader and Lok Sabha MP Dr. Shashi Tharoor introduced a private member’s bill in parliament seeking legalisation and regulation of online sports betting within a licensed framework. AIGF wants an assurance from Congress and BJP in their manifestos that a similar law be introduced by the central government if their organisation comes to power.